TARPON SPRINGS -- In the theme of new beginnings arriving with spring, plans are back on track for Lowe’s Home Improvement warehouse to move into the land on the corner of Spruce Street and U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs.
The land is next to Hydrologic Plumbing Supplies and across from Karl Flammer Ford -- the same 19-acre parcel the company was working with last time.
In 2012, four years after winning approval from the Pinellas County Commission to change the land use designation of the property from industrial to commercial (the previous owner was Acme Sponge and Chamois Company), Lowe’s backed out of the project, despite spending about $3 million in preparation including road and infrastructure improvements; part of those improvements connected Spruce Street to Live Oak Street, which now creates direct access from U.S. 19 to the sponge docks, and added a stoplight at the intersection of Spruce Street and U.S. 19.
TARPON SPRINGS -- Three new playgrounds are in the works after a 3-0 approval (Commissioners Townsend Tarapani and Rea Sieber were absent) by the City Commission on March 3.
The first, at Highland Nature Park, was granted to Melbourne-based ARC LLC/Play
space Services for $29,750 and is aimed at children ages 5 to 12. According to a memo from Recreation Superintendent Craig Dolan, the theme incorporates the nature park into its design, including tree-themed climbers and a log bridge.
TARPON SPRINGS - After a number of complaints from residents, the Tarpon Springs City Commission has begun looking into updating the city’s tree ordinance, which was passed in May 1990 and most recently amended in July 2006.
The ordinance, part of the comprehensive zoning and land development code, was written to “establish regulations in the City of Tarpon Springs that will have the effect of protecting, promoting and maintaining a healthy, diverse and mature canopy of native and naturalized hardwood and evergreen tree species.” In the 2006 amendment, language was added and rewritten to prevent developers from clear cutting parcels of land; any tree removed from a property, unless diseased or dying, must be replaced by the owner. Beyond the cost of the removal, the owner must also apply and be granted a $25 city permit to remove each tree; fines for not having that permit come in at about $1,500. The money from fines is then added to a cumulative bank account called the tree bank.
“I’m concerned that (the cost) is starting to have an adverse effect on residents,” said Mayor David Archie at the Jan. 27 City Commission meeting, citing the double cost for residents: first to take down and remove the tree and the second to replace it. “There should be some relief in there.”
TARPON SPRINGS - A Tarpon Springs man suffered serious injuries in a two-vehicle crash about 11:14 a.m. Wednesday, March 4, on East Lake Road in Tarpon Springs.
According to a report from the Florida Highway Patrol, John Valentic, 52, Palm Harbor was traveling northbound on East Lake Road in a 2013 Ford F150, and Harry Benton Anderson, 79, was traveling westbound on Pine Ridge Road in a 2002 Oldsmobile van.
Valentic failed to yield and traveled into the intersection, colliding with Anderson’s van. Valentic’s truck rotated and struck a sign. Anderson’s van rotated and went into a drainage ditch.
TARPON SPRINGS - Currently, Tarpon Spring’s wastewater treatment facility stores up to 4 million gallons of reclaimed water in two tanks off of Pine Street.
But the new reclaimed water storage tank and pump station, proposed to be located on the municipal golf course, would more than double the city’s storage capabilities.
The current reclaimed water system produces an average of about 2 million gallons of reclaimed water a day; between 1.4 million and 1.5 million gallons are used daily. About 900 customers use reclaimed water in Tarpon Springs: about 68 percent is used in residential areas, 14 percent by the golf course, 7 percent by commercial and institutional buildings, 6 percent by parks and cemeteries and 5 percent for industrial usage.
TARPON SPRINGS - As the second phase of the sponge dock improvement plan begins, the city of Tarpon Springs will begin improvements and enhancements to the sidewalks, crosswalks, docks, ramps and roadways along Dodecanese Boulevard.
Most of the plans revolve around fixing cracked sidewalks and streets and creating a more unified look along the docks, including material and staining.
“This is going to be an important aspect that you’re going to notice along the docks,” said City Manager Mark LeCouris. “It’s essential to the final look we want when this is all done.”
TARPON SPRINGS -- The Tarpon Springs City Commission voted unanimously Feb. 3 to approve the annexation and rezoning of less than an acre of land at the southwest corner of U.S. 19 and Klosterman Road to be developed as a RaceTrac gas station and market store.
The lot, located in the parking lot of St. Petersburg College Tarpon Springs campus, was previously a Mobil Gas Station.
The Tarpon Springs Planning and Zoning Committee also approved the changes 5-0 on Jan. 12.
TARPON SPRINGS - With utility bills constantly rising, Duke Energy is helping some of its customers save some money with the Neighborhood Energy Saver program.
Begun as a pilot project in 2006 in Palmetto Park in St. Petersburg, the Neighborhood Energy Saver program provides free “energy makeovers” for low-income Duke Energy customers, making energy-efficient improvements to their homes that will show up as a decrease in their monthly utility bills.
TARPON SPRINGS - In 2014, The Shepherd Center distributed 675,000 pounds of food to those in need in north Pinellas County.
Volunteers and employees handed out 30,000 bags of groceries from the food pantry, served 26,000 meals at community kitchens and provided 1,700 Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners through Project T.H.A.N.K.S.
This year, in its new, larger building, the faith-based organization finally has the room to grow, literally and figuratively.
Author Showcase PALM HARBOR – The East Lake Community Library hosts an Author Showcase series third Tuesdays, 6 to 7:50 p.m., at 4125 East Lake Road. The series offers attendees an opportunity to hear authors talk about their books and their writing.
The featured author on April 21 will be Anastasia Charalabakos, a writer and teacher of English as a second language. Charalabakos will talk about her book “From Darkness to Triumph: Creating Success Amidst Barriers,” which chronicles the trials and achievements of her life as a blind person.
The book shows how handicaps do not have to present insurmountable barriers and how those who live and work with the blind should not, through well-intentioned over-protection, limit the ability of the blind to achieve.
Clearwater Woman’s Club meeting CLEARWATER – The Clearwater Woman’s Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month at the Clearwater Main Library, 100 N. Osceola Ave., 11 a.m. except in December. Visit www.clearwatercwc.org.
ESOL fair CLEARWATER – Pinellas County Schools English for Speakers of Other Languages department is partnering with dozens of community organizations to provide families with information about a variety of resources.
The ESOL Community Resource Fair will be presented Tuesday, April 21, 3:30 to 5 p.m., in the cafeteria at Skycrest Elementary School, 10 N. Corona Ave.
For information, English and Serbo-Croatian speakers should call 588-6415, and Spanish speakers should call 623-4414.
Financial Literacy Month workshops SEMINOLE – The Seminole Community Library, 9200 113th St., will offer a series of workshops to recognize Financial Literacy Month this April. The workshops take place on Tuesdays, 1 to 2 p.m.
The workshop, “Budgeting Help/Ways to Save” on April 14, is presented by Achieva. Wells Fargo presents the April 21 workshop, “Avoiding Big Mistakes When Saving for Retirement,” while PBS Frontline presents “Secret History of the Credit Card” on April 28.
This series is free and open to the public.
Call Sunita Kumari at 394-6136 for more information.
Keys to Running a Successful Business PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Library and the Service Corps of Retired Executives will present a free program titled “Keys to Running a Successful Business” Tuesday, April 21, 6:30 to 7:45 p.m., at the library, 2330 Nebraska Ave.
MLK Neighborhood Center Coalition planning sessions CLEARWATER – The Clearwater Martin Luther King Jr. Neighborhood Center Coalition hosts weekly planning sessions every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at 1201 Douglas Ave. It also hosts a neighborhood community market each fourth Saturday, with the June market set for the 28th.
The Community Outreach Team invites people to join them in making phone calls or writing letters to the residents in the neighborhood surrounding the center to inspire neighbors with the progress that is being made.
Moms of Preschoolers meeting PALM HARBOR – Moms of Preschoolers meet monthly on the third Tuesday of the month, 10 a.m., at Palm Harbor United Methodist Church, 1551 Belcher Road.
Call 785-7487 for details.
Paper shred event PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Area Senior Council and Shred 360 Tampa will host a free paper shred event Tuesday, April 21, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Harbor Hall parking lot, 1190 Georgia Ave.
Donations to the Palm Harbor Area Senior Council will be accepted. Funds go toward senior programming in Palm Harbor.
The event is sponsored by the Palm Harbor Area Senior Council, Shred360 Tampa, and CSA Palm Harbor Parks and Recreation.
For questions or additional information, contact Jim Kleyman at 798-6645.